Niki D'Andrea, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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While some businesses and schools slowly reopen, many people are still opting to stay home if they can. In the spirit of getting into the great outdoors again, here are two upcoming virtual events focused on the natural world. First, the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University hosts a virtual night sky presentation almost every Wednesday. The presentations, streamed live on Zoom from the ASU Marston Exploration Theater , feature state-of-the-art...

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A couple decides to spend their big anniversary having a nice meal out in Palm Springs. What could possibly go wrong? If it’s the play Slow Food, everything. Playwright Wendy MacLeod’s comedy tells the story of Irene and Peter, a hungry couple, and their highly neurotic waiter, Stephen, who won’t bring them their food – and that’s only the beginning of their troubles. Stephen will have them not only questioning their meal choices but reexamining...

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The pandemic put the squeeze on Arizona breweries just as it did other businesses, but local craft brewers are slowly bouncing back. A big bounce should happen from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, September 19, when the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild hosts the Beering Arizona festival via livestream to support local breweries. The festival will be online, but you can also attend at participating bars, breweries and craft beer stores. General admission tickets cost $30 for...

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On September 9, 1739, twenty enslaved Africans marched from South Carolina toward promised freedom in Spanish Florida, beating drums, waving flags and chanting for liberty. Known as the Stono Rebellion, it was the largest slave uprising in the British mainland colonies and ended with the deaths of 25 colonists and 35 to 50 Africans. This little-known event had a lasting effect on African American culture, and to mark its 281st anniversary, performance collective Step Afrika! will...

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Not everyone sat around watching Netflix during quarantine. Phoenix-based band The Sugar Thieves sat around plucking instruments and writing songs – so many tunes, in fact, that the group released two new albums of all-original material this summer. “The world needs music,” singer Meridith Moore says, “and they need it now.” The Sugar Thieves’ sound is aptly described as “American roots music” – a blues-infused sonic gumbo of genres including country, folk, gospel, jazz and...

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Metallica’s first concert of 2020 is coming to a drive-in theater near you. Encore Nights presents the band in a performance filmed exclusively for this one-night-only concert being shown across North America on Saturday, August 29, including four Valley drive-in locations. The show will include material spanning Metallica’s four-decade career and starts with a guest performance by Three Day’s Grace, also filmed exclusively for this event. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com and cost $115 per vehicle...

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It’s a bummer that most local stages remain silent and dark. But on the upside, local artistic troupes remain active and you can watch their work live – even while loudly unwrapping candy or drinking beer out of a cup without a lid. You can’t do that in a theater, now can you? Arizona Theatre Company Presents Alma Written by Arizona Theatre Company’s 2019 Latinx Playwright Award winner Benjamin Benne, Alma tells the story of...

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Monique Hasbun’s musical influences span a gamut from classic rock to Disney artists to the Latin music that permeated her Phoenix home as a child. Her debut, eponymous EP was released in September 2018, and she’s set to release an as-yet-untitled follow-up EP this summer. “I am very excited about the new music I am working on,” Hasbun says. “I definitely feel like I am revisiting my [Latin and Middle Eastern] roots with my new music.”...

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Summertime at the zoo might be a distant memory for many people right now, but wildlife parks, aquariums and zoos around Arizona still have staff on site caring for the animals – and plenty of animals on virtual display. Here are five animal encounters you can enjoy from anywhere. Zoom with Phoenix Zoo Animals Why bother with such pedestrian meeting distractions as cats running across keyboards or children jumping on furniture when you can have...

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Valley movie theaters are still shuttered, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still catch some cool indie cinema screenings. Here are five virtual film screenings and events from local organizations that should help keep your celluloid dreams alive. Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful No Festival Required presents this documentary about famous photographer Helmut Newton, whose work exploring the female form gave him a cult star status that endures long after his death in...

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All that Glitters/Waves of Change Gala This year, the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona’s annual fundraiser gala will take place online but aims to offer all the fun of the popular “live action” event. Guests are encouraged to dress up for the affair, which includes some seriously sweet raffle packages including his and hers TagHeuer watches and a wine cellar starter kit. Among the live auction items up for grabs: a five-night stay with daily poolside...

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